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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


SANTIAGO-PORTERO, María Carmen et al. Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes of the Roma population regarding colorectal cancer screening. Gac Sanit [online]. 2018, vol.32, n.1, pp.11-17.  Epub Nov 30, 2020. ISSN 0213-9111.


To identify predisposing, inhibitory and facilitating factors that may affect participation in colorectal cancer screening programs in the Roma population.


Qualitative and exploratory study by focus group technique. Three focus groups of men and three groups of women were carried out, with a total of 16 men and 18 women from the Roma population, aged 50-69 years, from the province of Alicante. A discourse analysis was performed with the PRECEDE model as an analysis framework.


Several barriers to participation were identified, such as the aversion of the Roma population to talk about cancer, refusal to anticipate a diagnosis that can cause suffering to the person and their family, poor knowledge of the disease and the preventive programmes, refusal to collect and handle samples, fear and shame about the colonoscopy, acceptance of divine will, difficulties in understanding and reading, and the perception of being discriminated by their ethnicity in the health sector. However, predisposing factors to participate in the screening programme also were identified, for example willingness to receive relevant information through more appropriate pathways, as well as their confidence in professional counselling.


A willingness to receive the recommendation to participate and understanding information from health professionals have been identified. This will enable us to envisage potential strategies for approaching this population group. This could contribute to improved participation of the Roma population in colorectal cancer screening programmes and to open up new ways to promote preventive behaviours.

Keywords : Roma; Focus groups; Qualitative research; Early detection of cancer; Colorectal neoplasms.

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